Choosing the right Reamp® for your studio depends on your sonic taste, budget and how you intend to use the device. Here we look at the various Reampers™ that we make and break it down in a nice convenient comparative study.
|Feature||ProRMP™||Reamp® JCR™||X-Amp™||JD7 Injector™|
|Balanced input||XLR-Female||XLR-F, ¼” TRS||XLR-Female||XLR-Female|
|Number of Outputs||1||1||2||7|
|180º phase reverse||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Passive versus Active
The original Reamp was and continues to be a passive device. In other words, a single transformer does the job of unbalancing the signal, converting the impedance and isolating the recording system from the guitar amp to eliminate hum and buzz caused by ground loops. The Reamp JCR and the ProRMP are both passive. The original Reamp JCR employs a special custom wound USA-made transformer with MuMETAL® can for extra shielding while the ProRMP employs a more affordable version. Transformers tend to be more forgiving. You can hit them with more signal and they will handle it without distortion. This is because transformers saturate as opposed to distorting the way that active circuits do. The Reamp JCR will handle more level than the ProRMP and, of course, is the original that was used by so many great artists and engineers over the past decade.
Active Reampers like the X-Amp and JD7 Injector use buffers or unity gain amplifiers to drive the signal. The output is then either direct or transformer coupled to eliminate hum and buzz caused by ground loops. Buffers tend to be big and more ‘glassy’ sounding. This is somewhat the same as comparing a condenser mic versus a dynamic mic: the condenser tends to sound brighter. This is because the active buffer will not load the source as much as a passive circuit. The benefit with a buffer tends to be a more consistent tone when the gain is lowered. But considering that the signal coming from the recording system is already buffered, there is argument if this really provides any major benefit. The tangible advantage with the X-Amp is the two separate outputs: you can drive two amps at the same time. With the JD7 you can, of course, drive as many as 7 amps at the same time. Active Reampers like the X-Amp and JD7 need external power.
- The ProRMP is ideally suited for the project studio where occasional Reamping is planned. Being completely passive, the ProRMP does not require any power to work, making it plug & play easy to use.
- Reamp JCR is the world’s most famous Reamper. It is legendary in that it has been instrumental for artists as diverse as Joe Satriani and the Rolling Stones. It is passive, does not require power and has the warm tone associated with a top-end transformer.
- X-Amp is the most popular Reamper made today and has become a studio standard around the world. It is active with a transformer isolated output. It is able to run two amps at the same time giving it tons of extra flexibility.
- JD7 Injector is not only a Reamper, but and all-in-one guitar distro, direct box and Reamp. It is equipped with 6 guitar amp outputs on the front panel plus a 7th on the rear. Most of these are transformer isolated. The JD7 is designed for studios that track a lot of guitars.